Congratulations to the 2017 SCS Alumni Award recipient, Nathan Gunn ('85)! The Alumni Award is given to an alumna or alumnus of The Stanley Clark School whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively affected society. Nathan was honored at the Middle School Final Assembly on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Jim Tallman, Director of Alumni Relations, announced the award and Dr. Michelle Thompson '85, Alumni Council President, along with Melissa Grubb, Head of School, presented the award. We were honored to have Nathan join us in the singing of "America the Beautiful" to conclude the assembly.
Nathan graduated from The Stanley Clark School in 1985, and has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritone opera singers of the day. He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses, Munich, London, Paris, Vienna, Madrid and others around the world. In 2011, he was featured as a guest star in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's annual Christmas concert before an audience of 80,000 in Salt Lake City. In 2012, he was named Director of the American Repertoire Council at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He is a distinguished concert performer and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, to name just a few, and he has worked with many famous conductors.
He has ventured outside the opera world with appearances in performances of Camelot and Carousel with the New York Philharmonic and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. His solo album, Just Before Sunrise, won a 2010 Grammy Award. In 2015 Nathan starred in the world premiere of a new opera, Cold Mountain, based on the award winning 1997 novel of the same name. For his performance in Cold Mountain he received a 2017 Grammy nomination for Best Opera Recording. He has won countless other awards for his singing. He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a professor of voice and General Director of the Lyric Theater at Illinois. Since 2014 Nathan has been an artist-in-residence in the music department at the University of Notre Dame for a few weeks each year.
During his days at the Stanley Clark School, Nathan sang in the Middle School Chorus for former SCS teacher, Marsha Belsaas, who encouraged him to pursue voice lessons in high school. Nathan acted in the school play here and also played basketball and football, breaking all the Stanley Clark football records for rushing and touchdowns. He received the Andre K. Guyton Most Valuable Athlete Award and finished his middle school years by earning the Paul J. Hoffman Outstanding Character Award at commencement.